Three Signs of Diabetes You Shouldn’t Ignore

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Because its symptoms can be difficult to identify, diabetes can cause a number of problems before it’s diagnosed. Your body’s cells rely on glucose to give them energy, but, if you’ve got diabetes, your body cannot handle high blood glucose.

As your body digests carbohydrates, fruits and other foods with high sugar content, it creates glucose. Once it’s created, glucose moves through your blood. Your body relies on insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) to turn glucose into energy. However, those with diabetes do not produce usable insulin, so they must rely on injections of the hormone.

Unfortunately, 9% of the United States population suffers from diabetes. If you’re one of the 29 million people that’s developed diabetes, but are unaware, there are three major signs you should not ignore.

  1. Frequent Urination: Anything more than 3 liters a day is considered abnormal and should be taken seriously. (Normal daily urine output is anywhere from one to two liters.)
  2. Increased Thirst: If you feel thirsty constantly despite taking in an adequate amount of water each day, it may be a sign of diabetes. It is recommended that if you experience increased thirst for a number of days, you should seek medical care to get tested for diabetes.
  3. Increased Appetite: Although increased appetite could be a result of intense exercise, it may also be a symptom of diabetes. When a heightened appetite is linked to diabetes, the feeling will not go away, even after you’ve eaten.

When left untreated, diabetes symptoms can lead to life-threatening metabolic crises. Complications from diabetes include nerve damage, kidney damage, poor blood circulation and even death.

If you’re concerned you may have diabetes, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

 

 

 

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Precautions to Take If Heart Disease Runs In Your Family

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If heart disease runs in your family, you may be worried you will develop it too. However, your family’s history doesn’t have to have an effect on you if you take initiative. While genetics are a large factor behind heart disease, so is lifestyle and not taking preventative measures. Below are a few precautions to take if heart disease is in your genes.

Tell Your Doctor

Fill your doctor in on any family members that have suffered a heart attack or stroke. It’s also a good idea to let your doctor know if you have a family member with a heart murmur or heart rhythm problem. Immediate family members such as parents, brothers or sisters matter the most.

See a Doctor Regularly

It’s essential that you see a doctor routinely. You should get basic screening tests such as blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks. Your doctor will also want to know basics such as your weight, your activity level and if you’re a smoker. Your doctor may also recommend some basic cardiology tests such as an EKG, stress test or echocardiogram.

Assess Your Lifestyle

While you can’t change your genetics, you can control your lifestyle choices. Take a step back and take a look at your diet, activity level, smoking habits, etc. Find out where you can clean things up and start small. Maybe you can cut down to one soda a day or start working out three days a week. Any improvements will help reduce your risk of heart disease.

If heart disease runs in your family, you should see a doctor for routine screening. Consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care–we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

 

How To Get Enough Protein When Eating Vegetarian

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According to a study done in 2016, there are 7.3 million Americans who practice a fully vegetarian diet. A vegetarian is defined as someone who doesn’t eat meat (and sometimes other animal products). Typically, vegetarians follow this diet for moral, religious or health reasons.

A common concern for vegetarians is how to get enough protein when not eating meat. Per day, women should get 46 grams of protein and men should be taking in 56 grams. When enough attention is paid to what is going into their body, vegetarians can certainly get enough protein. If you’re following a vegetarian diet, consider regularly incorporating the following sources of protein into your diet.

Green Peas

Anything within the legume family is considered a solid source of protein. In fact, one cup of peas contains 7.9 grams of protein–the equivalent of a cup of milk. Peas don’t have to be eaten as a side dish, they can also be blended into a pesto.

Quinoa

Technically a seed, quinoa contains more than 8 grams of protein per cup. This includes all nine essential amino acids that the body requires for growing and repairing. Quinoa is extremely versatile and can be added to soup or vegetarian chili.

Nut Butter

Nuts are considered a valuable part of a plant-based diet. Not only are they high in calories, they also contain 5 to 6 grams of protein per ounce. Raw or dry roasted nuts are typically the healthiest. Also, look for nut butters with only nuts and salt.

Beans

If you’re a vegetarian, beans should be part of your daily diet. Believe it or not, two cups of kidney beans contain 26 grams of protein (one gram more than a Big Mac!). Beans also come in a wide variety, including white, black, pinto, heirloom, etc.

For more healthy tips and medical information, continue to check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

What Cautions To Take When Exploring the Outdoors

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Whether you’re going solo or traveling with the whole family, exploring the outdoors can be a great way to relieve stress and get some exercise. But when proper precautions aren’t taken, exploring nature can come with a number of safety issues. Whether you’re mountain hiking or simply walking around a nature trail, it’s important that you learn how to stay safe when outside.

Preparing For a Hike

Before going on a hike, put together a survival pack that includes a compass, map, lighter, water, food and weather gear. In addition to the survival essentials, it’s smart to let a family member or friend know about the trip you’re about to take. You should always bring a cell phone when hiking a long distance as well in case of an emergency. Finally, try to research the area you’re going to be exploring. Learn if there are certain animals, hazards, etc. common to the area. Being prepared may save you should something happen.

During the Hike

Whenever you’re exploring the outdoors, it’s a good idea to bring a companion along with you. If you plan to camp, you should always set up your campsite farther than a half of a mile from the road. Also, try not to stray off marked trails if possible. If you spot a plant you don’t recognize, stay away from it. Any time you see an animal, do not approach it and stay calm. Most animals will continue moving on.

After the Hike

Because hiking can take a physical toll on you, you should always pay attention to your body afterwards. Make sure to take it easy and hydrate as much as possible.

For more health tips and medical information, continue to check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

What Are Normal Blood Pressure Numbers?

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Blood pressure numbers can be indicative of your overall health. Typically, blood pressure falls into five different categories to let you know if it’s at a healthy level or if your numbers should be improved. Ranging from normal to hypertensive crisis, blood pressure measurements should be done by a medical professional to be gauged accurately. So what is considered “normal” blood pressure?

Systolic Vs. Diastolic

Before diving into numbers, it’s important to know the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Most people know this as “the upper number,” but systolic blood pressure informs you how much pressure your blood is putting on your artery walls any time the heart is beating. Meanwhile, diastolic blood pressure, or “the lower number,” lets you know the amount of pressure your blood is putting against your artery walls whenever the heart is resting between beats. Most doctors will look at the systolic blood pressure (top number) since this is the larger risk factor for heart disease for those over 50. Many people notice an increase in their systolic blood pressure as they age and plaque increases within their arteries.

Normal Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg, you are considered to have normal blood pressure. With these numbers, you can continue your usual heart-healthy habits.

Prehypertension

Once your blood pressure has reached 120-130/80-89 mm Hg, it is considered prehypertension. This puts you at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure and you should take steps to improve it.

Hypertension Stage 1

If your blood pressure is consistently measuring 140-159/90-99 mm Hg, it is considered hypertension stage 1. At this point, your doctor will likely recommend making some lifestyle changes and could possibly prescribe you blood pressure medication.

Hypertension Stage 2

Blood pressure consistently coming in higher than 160/100 mm Hg is diagnosed as hypertension stage 2. Doctors will likely encourage both blood pressure medication and lifestyle changes.

If you’re concerned about your blood pressure numbers, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

 

 

Common Allergic Reactions to Insect Bites

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Most people think of insects as pesky critters that cause irritating bites, but for those allergic, insects can be deadly. Knowing the signs of an allergic reaction as well as the insects that can cause them is key to treating the problem quickly.

Types of Insects

There are a variety of insects that can cause an allergic reaction, but the most common are stinging insects, such as bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets, and biting insects like ants and mosquitoes. It is more likely that a stinging bug will trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction; biting insects rarely do.

Signs of an Allergic Reaction

Most people that are bit or stung by an insect will experience pain, redness, itching and some swelling that goes away within hours or days. However, those who are allergic can suffer from symptoms as minor as itchy eyes or a runny nose to difficulty swallowing.

A life-threatening allergic reaction, commonly referred to as an anaphylaxis, requires immediate medication attention. Each year, 90-100 people die from insect sting anaphylaxis. If treatment is not received immediately, an anaphylaxis can cause death. Symptoms of an anaphylaxis include skin rashes and itching, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, shortness of breath, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea.

Preventing an Allergic Reaction

Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to prevent someone from being allergic to an insect. However, you can avoid getting bit by always wearing shoes when outdoors and keeping DEET on you at all times. If you know you are severely allergic to a specific insect, consult your doctor so you can get an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot to carry with you in case you get stung or bit.

If you believe you’ve been stung or bit and are allergic to the insect, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

What Happens During a Heat Stroke

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During summer, the risk of a heat stroke is significantly increased. If you’re planning to be outdoors during the hottest time of the year, it’s important to know the signs of a heat stroke and what exactly happens to your body during one.

What Is A Heat Stroke?

A heat stroke, a form of hyperthermia, occurs when your body temperature rises abnormally high (104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) and is accompanied by other physical symptoms. It’s not uncommon for a heat stroke to be confused for heat cramps or heat exhaustion, two other forms of hyperthermia; however, these are much less severe. You may also hear a heat stroke referred to as a sun stroke. Heat strokes should not be confused with an actual stroke. The term “stroke” is normally used to describe a decreased oxygen flow to the brain.

How Do You Identify A Heat Stroke?

Many people misidentify heat strokes as heart attacks since the symptoms are similar. Symptoms of a heat stroke may occur quickly and without warning. They include high body temperature, flushed skin, increased pulse, trouble breathing, confusion, agitation, seizure and more.

How Can You Prevent A Heat Stroke?

If possible, avoid physical activity in hot weather. If physical activity is unavoidable, stay hydrated and take frequent breaks. Loose, lightweight clothing and hats can help keep you cool. Never leave infants, children or pets unattended in a car that’s not in use as this can lead quickly to a heat stroke or even death.

If you believe you are suffering from a heat stroke, it’s imperative you seek medical attention immediately. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.